After a weekend split to open a 24 game season Regina, the Brandon Wheat Kings are back on the ice on Tuesday in-game action as they battle the Prince Albert Raiders for the first time this season.
Brandon lost to Moose Jaw on opening night before they bounced back on Saturday to beat their provincial rival Winnipeg ICE, 3-2. Tyson Zimmer — Brandon’s sixth overall pick in 2019 — played in both games and he was a +1 in Saturday’s win. Growing up just about two hours away from Brandon in Russell, Man., Tyson spent many nights in the Wheat City cheering on the Wheat Kings and it’s been his goal for a long time to make it to the Western Hockey League.
And that goal, as you know, has been completed as the 16-year-old now prepares for his third game with Brandon, against the defending WHL champions.
“My whole family has done everything to put me here and help me get here,” said Zimmer from Regina. “I can’t thank my entire family and all of the coaches over the years, I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Zimmer wasn’t thrilled with how he played in game number one as he says there were many nerves before the game and during it as well. But as the clock advanced nearly 24 hours from game one to game two, Tyson was feeling better and it showed on the ice.
“I felt more like myself, I was really calm,” stated Zimmer.
The Moose Jaw Warriors and Saskatoon Blades lead the East Division after opening the season with two straight wins. While this season isn’t purely about wins and losses because it’s a developmental season, it is guaranteed that any time a team hits the ice, they’re looking for two points.
Zimmer knows he has a ton to learn at the WHL level. The good thing is he’s only 16 and the rookie Wheat King understands and respects the process that it will take to become a top-tier elite player. Tyson has already proved he can score at the junior level, as he scored four times and added four assists in 10 games to start the season with Waywayseecappo.
“I’m just trying to take in how the veterans play, they know how to play in this league, and how to stay in the lineup,” ended Zimmer. “Being on this team is a huge thing for me. I want to do everything I can to help this team win games.”